Content warning: This list contains mention of self-harm, drug addiction, and domestic violence.
When you watch HBO’s Euphoria, there are a lot of different emotions that you’ll experience. Anger, happiness, misery, disgust, and shock are just some of them. And the wild thing is that you’ll probably experience each of these multiple times per episode. That’s how much happens in this series.
Season 1 delivered so many of these moments that helped shine a light on what each character has been through. The two special episodes about Rue and Jules also did that and now season 2 is only adding to it all. The series has made audiences everywhere as emotional as possible.
Updated on February 22nd, 2022 by Kevin Pantoja: Euphoria was one of the most intense shows in recent memory throughout season 1 and that has only been ramped up in season 2. There have been plenty of moments where viewers celebrate, a few where they feel terrified, and certainly some that break their hearts. The fans are able to experience almost every emotion possible on a weekly basis and each passing episode provides more moments where people are blown away.
Bonding At The Skate Rink
This started as one of the show’s sweetest moments as Rue and Jules’ relationship was finally something real. Rue was comfortable enough with it to bring Jules to the skating rink alongside her best friend since childhood, Lexi. It was heartwarming to see the three girls having a good time together.
Things took a turn for the sad when Lexi spoke to Jules on the side though. She told Jules that Rue seems a lot better since they started dating. Jules’ reaction was to shut down as if the seriousness of the relationship was getting to her. She even shrugged off Rue on the way home. It was the first real sign that something wasn’t right with the couple.
Jules Struggles With The Pressure Of Dating An Addict
It almost seems as if Jules’s special episode was designed to emotionally crush the audience. She spent the majority of the runtime talking with a therapist and explaining the many things she has to deal with. Among them is how she feels about Rue.
Her love for Rue was obvious but it also came with a caveat. She felt immense pressure because Rue often placed her sobriety on Jules’s shoulders so if Jules wasn’t available or something like that, Rue was likely to relapse. It was an interesting look at why Jules pulled away from Rue as this was simply too much for her to take on and that’s completely understandable.
Cassie & Lexi’s Dad Comes Home
Cassie is a character that fans felt sympathy for almost immediately. Though she’s blessed with stunning beauty, her life hasn’t been too easy. In the pilot episode, it was revealed that a series of photos and videos gave her a negative reputation among her peers. But it was when a light was shined on her past that things got really emotional.
The show teased the idea that Cassie’s father had passed away, but he actually left his family and ended up as a drug addict. The scene where he returned home, purely to get Cassie to allow him to steal expensive goods so he can continue his drug habit, is heartbreaking. It was also sad to see that a moment Cassie found sweet between them (him buying them ice cream on the way home from the park) was actually crushing for Lexi.
Jules Misses Rue
When things got all too real in the relationship between Rue and Jules, it was Jules who took the step back. She left town and returned to the place she moved from to hang out with old friends and clear her head. While there, Jules went to a club and ultimately hooked up with a girl.
After her high wore off, Jules found herself in bed and kind of sad. She went up to the roof and looked out at the world before sending a simple text. She sent it to Rue and told her that she missed her like crazy. It was a touching moment made more impactful by how depressed Rue was over Jules leaving in the first place.
Fezco Protects Rue
Almost instantly, Fezco became a fan favorite. Doubling as both Rue’s drug dealer and friend, fans saw early on how Fezco had Rue’s back. In one scene, his supplier was on his way over and Rue was there to get a fix. Fezco pleaded with her to leave but she didn’t, and when he implored her to remain quiet, she came out into the open.
The supplier, a dangerous dealer named Mouse, took a liking to Rue. He got her to take fentanyl, which really messed her up. Despite his fear, Fezco stood up for her and offered to pay hundreds of dollars to get Mouse to leave. Once Mouse was gone, Fezco took Rue to Jules to get her help. Audiences got teary-eyed watching him help out his friend, even when she wasn’t aware of what was going on.
Nate Threatens Maddy
Throughout most of season 1, Maddy felt like an accomplice to Nate. While he certainly manipulated and abused her, she often gave it right back to him and was by his side, even when it meant they would send Tyler to jail. However, Maddy has become more likable in season 2. Scenes have shown her to be a big sister of sorts to Lexi, a good friend to Cassie, and a good babysitter even.
So, it hurt like hell to see what Nate did to her. In need of the disc with the footage of his dad and Jules having sex, he got it by threatening Maddy with a gun to her head. He then pointed it to himself and pulled the trigger multiple times until she gave in. Maddy curled up into a ball of fear, feeling violated and scared as he left.
Kat And Ethan Become Official
A consistent thread throughout the show was the budding romance between Kat and Ethan. It was clear that Ethan liked Kat almost immediately. However, her insecurities and desire to be a bad girl got in the way of their relationship on numerous occasions. Finally, the season finale came and Kat confronted Ethan about her feelings.
But it was Ethan who hit fans with the feels. He delivered an incredibly sweet monologue where he explained why he liked her so much and how he would do everything in his power to be a great boyfriend while he could. It was just the kind of thing that Kat needed to hear. Alas, she broke up with him in season 2.
Maddy’s Reaction To The Truth
A big storyline of season 2 surrounded Cassie and Nate getting together. At first, it looked like innocent Cassie would be another victim of Nate’s but she turned out to be almost as manipulative at times and she seemingly fell in love with him. Obviously, that was a problem for her friendship with Maddy.
The two are best friends, yet Cassie hid this from Maddy until Rue revealed it. Maddy was angry in front of everyone but she broke down when Cassie hid in the bathroom. Outside, a tearful Maddy mentioned how much Nate did to her and now he’s with her best friend. She’d have to see Cassie go down the same road and lose a best friend in the process.
Ali Forgives Rue
As mentioned during the special episode about Rue, drugs fundamentally change who you are as a person. Ali, Rue’s sponsor, let her know this and shared his own experiences with her. That included telling her that he has a bad relationship with his kids because his addiction caused him to abuse their mother even after he promised to never be that kind of guy.
Struggling with her own addiction, Rue chose to lash out at Ali when he questioned her, saying nobody wanted him as a parent and referencing his abuse. Ali looked heartbroken and he walked off. After Rue hit rock bottom, she called him to apologize and Ali simply forgave her. Watching Rue’s elation that she hadn’t burned that bridge was heartwarming and reminded everyone that Ali is ultimately a good person.
Rue rarely dressed as if she cared about anything. Fans often saw her sporting a baggy sweater but most thought nothing of it. That was until the finale where the origin of this outfit was revealed. Through flashbacks, viewers got to see a lot of the stuff Rue has been through during her tragic life.
They already knew that her father died of his illness at home, but this episode showed Rue entering the bedroom after his passing. As her mother sobbed, she picked up the sweater everyone was so used to her wearing and clutched it tightly. This whole time, Rue has been wearing her dad’s sweater.
Fezco Threatens Nate
Sometimes, a scene gets you highly emotional and it’s not about the tears. Excitement and pride are both strong reactions to a television show. Realizing the problem that Nate posed to Jules and herself, Rue spoke with Fezco about possibly using his gun to threaten Nate. Fezco declined, considering it a bad idea.
However, the ever likable Fezco changed his tune when he spotted Nate at his store later that evening. Fezco confronted Nate and straight-up warned him that he’d kill him if he messed with Rue again. It was a fist-pumping moment for a lot of viewers. This was only strengthened when Fezco beat up Nate in the season 2 premiere and the internet was flooded with positive reactions from fans.
Jules And Rue Go Their Separate Ways
Rue came across as highly dependent on her relationship with Jules. It made her happy and while they were together, she was clean. When Jules left town and was distant, Rue went into a deep depression that led to a hospital stay. So when Jules returned and admitted that she loved Rue, all seemed right.
The couple was headed out to the city for an adventure. It was Rue’s idea, but she had second thoughts because she didn’t want to leave her mom and sister worried. Jules hopped on the train and begged Rue to come with her. The camera panned back and forth on them until showing that Rue stayed behind. The fact that Rue went home and relapsed made this even sadder.
Jules’s Mom Instutionalizes Her
It was clear from an early age that Jules didn’t feel comfortable in her body. It seems like her father grasped that and was supportive but her mother was a different story. “Shook Ones, Pt. II” is arguably the show’s best episode because of emotional scenes like this.
It showed a young Jules get taken to a psych hospital by her mom, only to be left there and not understand or know why. This was harrowing for Jules, who ended up self-harming as a result. It also caused a major rift between her and her mother which remains that way into her teenage years.
Rue Hurts Everyone
Even with Jules back in her life, Rue’s addiction took over in season 2. It reached its peak in the fifth episode, where Rue exploded on her mother and sister when they hid her drugs from her. She was stunned to see that Jules and Eliott were also in the house but then chose to brutally lash out at Jules and say some truly hurtful things.
Rue wasn’t done there, revealing the truth about Cassie’s relationship with Nate to Maddy, getting kicked out of Fezco’s house, and more. It was crushing to see just how vicious Rue could be when she was desperate for drugs and made the entire episode a stressful and heartbreaking watch.
Rue Yells At Fezco
It’s the scene that earned Zendaya her Emmy. Shortly after her fentanyl scare, Rue had a bad day and returned to Fezco for a new batch of drugs. He was still shaken from what happened with the fentanyl and refused to help her kill herself. A desperate Rue proceeded to break down.
She banged on his door and cried as she pleaded for more drugs. The saddest part of it all came when she screamed that Fezco did this to her. She blamed him for her addiction. It may have just been her desire for drugs talking, as Fezco noted in the next episode, but it still cut deep. The emotion let out by Rue was enough to make any viewer just as emotional, especially seeing Fezco hurting on the other side.
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